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Rodeo in Joliet Paperback – April 11, 2009
...an exhilarating rollercoaster ride that is, at once, heartbreaking and heartwarming, funny and sad, joyous and jolting. A must-read for anyone who knows anyone dealing with cancer. There are many books by and about cancer patients. None, however, is as powerful, or more moving, than this one. --Allen Klein
author, The Courage to Laugh
As a faculty member, I believe that Rodeo in Joliet should be required reading for all medical students before walking onto the ward. As a cancer survivor and physician, I'm again struck by the capricious nature of this disease and the fragility of our time here. Rockowitz tells it just like it is. --Brandon Hayes-Lattin, M.D.
Director of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, Knight Cancer Institute
From the Back Cover
A relentlessly honest coming of death story, this psychological memoir of comedian Glenn Rockowitz's ongoing struggle with cancer offers a vivid glimpse into the landscape of a mind when it is faced with the constant threat of death. The story takes us from Glenn's unexpected diagnosis of 'three months at best' just days before the birth of his only child, to his miraculous remission and the ironic death of his father. It is a journey that is by turns heartbreaking, painfully funny, misanthropic, loving and ultimately heroic. Rodeo In Joliet tramples the Hallmark cliches and platitudes of traditional cancer survival stories and presents in their place an experience that leaves the reader in awe and grateful for his or her every breath. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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The first time his father prays in his life - that he will get cancer so that his son will live - his prayers are answered in one week! Really? I guess Mr. Markowitz must be very important, that God gives his father cancer so that he may live. Can we spell megalomania?
Glenn doesn't want to join a support group, or create a website, like all the blurry cancer patients. Instead he writes a book and does a book tour.
The author is a withholder and by his own repeated admission, a liar. I suspect that "I lie" is the most repeated phrase in the book. He doesn't tell his own wife that he has cancer until three months have passed, because he is "protecting" her. He doesn't tell us what kind of cancer he has, because the experience of cancer is "universal," and I guess we normal people just can't be trusted to evaluate facts.
I'm reading this for a book group - I may read as far as when he tells his wife in the hopes that she puts him out of his misery. But that's probably not going to happen, so I may just quit now while I'm ahead.
Read it, share it, you will see gratitude in a whole new light.
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